Take-off for Qantas-Emirates deal

Qantas and EmiratesAustralia's competition regulator has given Qantas Airways and Emirates final approval to form a five-year global alliance, with special conditions for flights across the Tasman Sea.

Under the partnership, Qantas will use Dubai, rather than Singapore, as the stopover point for its flights to London. The first Qantas flight to London via Dubai departs on Sunday.
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the partnership would give the public better products and service offerings.

"The ACCC is satisfied that the alliance is likely to result in material, but not substantial, public benefits," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

The ACCC had already granted interim approval, allowing the Australian and Dubai-based carriers to sell codeshare flights between Australia and Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

The final ruling, which lasts for five years, also allows Qantas and Emirates to pair up on flights across the Tasman Sea, subject to conditions. They must maintain existing capacity on four overlapping routes to New Zealand: Sydney-Auckland, Melbourne-Auckland, Brisbane-Auckland and Sydney-Christchurch.

"On these routes, the ACCC is concerned that Qantas and Emirates will have the ability and incentive to reduce or limit growth in capacity in order to raise airfares," Sims said.

The requirement to maintain capacity on these four routes - which account for about 65% of all seats between Australia and New Zealand - would be subject to a review to consider whether increases in the minimum capacity were warranted.

"With this condition, the ACCC is satisfied that the relevant net public benefit tests are met," the ACCC said.

Qantas and Emirates also planned to co-operate on sales, marketing and pricing. The alliance was a key plank in Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce's bid to return the Flying Kangaroo's international operations to profitability. Qantas signed a 10-year partnership deal with Emirates in September last year, ending a 17-year relationship with British Airways.

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Take-off for Qantas-Emirates deal

The Mexican self-made telecoms mogul tops the rich list with a wealth that, as Forbes reports, if it were a country would be the eighth richest in Latin America.

Dubbed the world's most generous person, Bill Gates made his fortune as the brains behind Microsoft and has reportedly already donated $28 billion of his wealth to charity so far.

Spanish billionaire Ortega is the man behind the clothes brand Zara and is this year's biggest rich list gainer, making $19.5 billion last year and moving him into third position.

Buffett made his billions as CEO, primary shareholder and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, A diversified company with interest in GEICO, life insurance, annuity sales and sales of jewellery. He recently signed a lucrative deal to acquire Heinz Ketchup.

Ellison founded Oracle Corporation, a leading enterprise software company. He's America's third richest man and Forbes has reported that he recently bought 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai from David Murdock for a reported sum of $500 million.

Koch built his fortune on chemicals and refining and shares the sixth position on the rich list with his billionaire brother, David Koch.

Tied sixth in the rich list with his elder brother Charles, David runs the chemical equipment side of Koch Industries from his New York home.

This self-made billionaire is Asia's richest man and currently supplies a quarter of British people with gas after acquiring British gas supplier Wales & West Utilities for $1 billion last October.

The only woman in the top ten, Bettencourt's father founded L'Oreal and now she and her family own 30% of the French cosmetics super brand.

Branded by Forbes as the 'World's most influential tastemaker' Arnault owns the luxury goods powerhouse LVHM, Moet Hennessy - Luis Vuitton.

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